I went to visit New York’s Yankee Stadium. I got there when the NY Yankees baseball team was playing the Baltimore Orioles. I was intrigued by this American national pastime. I was approaching Gate 4 of the huge stadium when people started streaming out of the stadium. It started as a trickle at first, and then it became a deluge; a wave of people, a fast flowing tide of white people. These New Yorkers were of Germans, Dutch, Italian, and Irish heritage. These were the Caucasian Americans.
Now and then a sprinkling of well-off looking Hispanics and black people (or African-Americans as is more politically correct to say) went past, but most of the people I saw coming off Gate 4 were white, I mean the kind of white people you see when you visit a rural village in Germany. There were friends, families and individuals. There were mothers, fathers, children, and grand-parents in the crowd. They were leaving the stadium early, disgusted that their team was trailing by 7-1 at time and also to beat traffic.
Since arriving New York I have been ensconced in neighborhoods that had more immigrant populations than native-born Americans. Neighborhoods where when asked questions, people would probably reply in Spanish or with strong Caribbean or Jamaican Patois. I have heard a lot of people tell me “No speak English” in Bushwick. People who just want to be left alone as they work towards their American dream.
But not this crowd I saw walking past. These people exuded wealth, they had the aura power. These were the people that made New York the capital of global finance. These people are the reason New York is the wealthiest metropolitan area in the world, generating 1.4 trillion dollars a year. An economic output that is almost larger than the Gross Domestic Product of Africa’s 54 sovereign countries combined.
These were the stockbrokers of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, the leaders and workers in private equity firms like BlackRock and Blackstone who have assets under management of over 10trillion dollars. Many walking past worked in JP Morgan, Citi Corp, ABM industries. I even saw someone looking like Carl Icahn, a billionaire who employs ninety thousand people in the city. Some others who walked past must be leaders and politicians in the New York City Government, managing the cities 80billion dollars budget and almost 148,898 work forces.
These people create the dazzle in Time Square; they are the artists and directors of Broadway. They own and work in the hotels and attractions that bring over 60 million tourists to New York every year. These were the owners of the glittering towers in Manhattan. As I watched them walk past, I wondered if US President, Donald Trump too had walked past that gate after watching a Yankees game. After all he is a New Yorker who probably supports the Yankees.
I know enough about stadiums to know that there are different sections for different income class. I don’t know the income distribution of people who watch NY Yankee games but in that fleeting moment at Gate 4 of Yankees Stadium. I met a part of America I had not seen since my arrival.
The white, rich and powerful America.
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